Monday, February 06, 2006

Crawling Back from Oblivion

I've been a bit scarce of late but plan to rectify that very soon. As in hopefully tomorrow. In the meantime, here's something to fill in the gap.

I've had a couple of questions about the pictured recipes in the last post. One asked about the contents of the noodle soup. I hate to disappoint but it was rather simplistic. The liquid content was created from a bottle (Memmi Noodle Soup Base by Kikkoman). I have to admit that it wasn't the best soup at the start. Why? Because apparently I can't read English and misread the Memmi part to water parts on the label. Didn't help that I had a stuffed nose and so it was the Frog who pointed out that it was a bit of a salt lick and I promptly watered it down a bit. In the soup base were Chinese steamed noodles, frozen peas, chunks of leeks and a couple of prawns for each of us. Leeks weren't the best. Green onions would have been better. Not my finest hour in cooking but I plan to rectify it in the near future.

As for the first question I had-- S'kat's "How on earth does one prepare lotus root?" -- here is the answer from my new cookbook, The Japanese Kitchen by Kimiko Barber:

Renkon no kimpira (simmered lotus root)

2-2 1/2 cups lotus root, peeled and thinly sliced [had to fudge a bit with frozen]
1 tbsp each sesame oil and vegetable oil
2 tbsp each mirin and soy sauce
1 tsp roasted sesame seeds
Pinch of shichimi togarashi (Japanese chili pepper) to taste, finely chopped [I didn't have this so I used a tad of cayenne]

Soak the [thawed] lotus slices in cold water for 10 minutes and drain. Heat both oils in a sauce pan and saute the slices over high heat until they become soft. Add the mirin and soy sauce and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the juice is almost disappeared, then add the sesame seeds and stir well. Transfer to serving dish and sprinkle with shichimi togarashi [or cayenne], and serve.

That's it! Not hard at all and tasty too. Any water chesnut lover will like this dish too. It's a tad more chewy than water chesnuts but has that same slightly starch crunch when your teeth snip into them. Next time I am in the area of the Chinese market (in maybe a month and a bit?), I will pick up the fresh kind and try again.


sailu said...

Honestly,the pics dont reflect the simplicity of the recipes.That noodle soup is a must try for me.Thanks,Nerissa.
We dont get lotus root here in our part of the country..:(

Melissa CookingDiva said...

I was surprised to find the other day fresh lotus roots at the Asian store close by. They were beautiful.I'll have to try it soon :)

Nerissa said...

Glad to be and inspiration, sailu :) Too bad you don't get lotus root but I figure you will some day. I feel it in my bones *S*

Melissa, what a nice surprise for you! There are a number of interesting recipes out there with lotus.
You have to cut lotus in a particular way. I wonder if they have that information on the internet. Hmmm...
Do let me know what you decide to make :D

michelle said...

Yay, you're back! I missed you! :)
Now I have another lotus root recipe I have to try...just have to find that damn lotus root...

s'kat said...

This is great! Now I know what I'm having on the next poker night...

Nerissa said...

Yep, michelle, I am back. :D Have you made other lotus root recipes before? Or do you just have a collection of root recipes you want to try? I'd love to hear what else you have as root recipes

Hiya s'kat, I'm glad I could provide some potential snackie-poos for gaming night. :D

michelle said...

Hi Nerissa - Just dreams, baby. There was a lotus root recipe in either Gourmet or Bon Appetit recently, which can probably be found on, and then another blogger, Mana Makan ( recently made some also.